Something in the Water sequel is canceled
Virginia Beach’s annual Something in the Water festival, set to take place in late April, has been canceled due to the coronavirus crisis. It will be back next year on April 23-25, 2021, say organizers.
The brainchild of Grammy-winning musician and Virginia Beach native Pharrell Williams, the first festival in April 2019 sold 35,000 tickets and drew crowds of 12,000 to 15,000 people each of the three days of the concerts.
Amid school closures, colleges canceling in-person classes and officials urging organizers to postpone events, Something in the Water released a statement via Twitter on March 13: “After much consideration, in partnership with the city of Virginia Beach, we’ve sadly decided to postpone Something in the Water 2020. All tickets for 2020 will be honored for next year’s festival.”
The announcement came the same day that City Manager Tom Leahy declared a local emergency, activating an emergency operations and information center.
Organizers said that ticket purchasers who wanted refunds would be informed by late March how to get their money back.
The 2019 event yielded a $21.8 million economic impact on Virginia Beach and another $2.4 million financial boost to the larger Hampton Roads region, according to an analysis conducted by Vinod Agarwal, professor of economics at Old Dominion University. He predicted that the economic impact would have doubled in 2020.
This year’s festival, slated to run for an entire week, was being expanded in “just about every way possible,” according to SITW executive producer Robby Wells, and that included adding a lot more community-centric programming, including a career day for college students, a food festival and a slate of speakers highlighting innovation, entrepreneurship and technology. The SITW Marketplace was set to spotlight local musicians and vendors, selling art and other items that are unique to Virginia Beach.
The number of beachfront concert stages also was to expand from one to three stages in 2020.
Event officials expected to sell 60,000 tickets for the festival, which was to feature more than 60 top and emerging acts, including Usher, the Foo Fighters, A$AP Rocky — and of course, Williams himself. Celebrities such as Taraji P. Henson, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Tony Hawk and Sheila E. were also scheduled to appear at SITW 2020.